It is an accepted norm that one has to be in Silicon Valley to make it big in an internet startup or New York City to get to the top of the finance industry or Los Angeles for the movie business. One of the reasons for the clustering of industries is because of concentration of capital in these areas dedicated to that industry (e.g. Sand Hill Road focused on tech startups). But, in the age of crowdfunding, could innovation be more spread out?
An analysis by Vozag of 3D printing projects on Kickstarter hints that a hit could come from anywhere. The data of 32 crowdfunded 3D funded projects that had pledges of more than $100,000 have a great diversity in the locations of the people & teams behind them. 26 projects came from the US, 3 from Canada and 1 each from the UK, China & Taiwan. Within the US as well, the below map demonstrates the amazing geographical dispersion of where these projects were hatched.
Michael Joyce, the person behind the B9 creator raised about $800k and is based out of Deadwood, South Dakota. Michael is an ex-air force pilot who has always been a tinkerer & got into 3D printing. Another example is Missoula, Montana based Acuity Designs that raised $125k for its Helix 3D printer to help businesses become more efficient. The partners, Michael Manhardt and James Fields, went to graduate school at the University of Montana.
These inspiring teams demonstrate that work on cutting edge technology based on distributed funding can came outside of narrow corridors. They have come a long way in solving the funding question at the start of the project. However, as they grow up, could they naturally gravitate towards a “3D Printing Valley,” as Marc Andreessen suggested, to leverage each other’s expertise and grow together.
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